Could A Tendency Toward Crime Form During Infancy?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(Memphis) It may just be a three-pound gray organ in our heads, but the brain drives every function of our life.

Believe it or not, what happens to the brain in infancy can determined whether a person falls into a life of crime.

Memphis has the worst health disparities in the country, meaning there are far more differences in health outcomes among different cultural groups.

That’s according to Dr. Paul Juarez with the University of TN Health Science Center.

“A lot of it has to do with the social determinant. The high rate of poverty, the history, the culture here in Memphis,” said Juarez.

That could mean lack of access to healthcare, education, grocery stores with healthy food nearby, and even a lack of being able to get outside and exercise because of high crime.

Dr. Juarez was brought to Memphis a year ago to figure out a connection between a baby’s mental development and crime.

“Exposure to high levels of stress can impact what we call the executive function and the development of the brain which guides and develops the brain,” said Juarez.

He says those stresses could include fighting between parents, a lack of attention from parents, and growing up in poverty.

Memphis has one of the highest rates of poverty in the nations, and according to the Urban Child Institute studies show a child born into poverty in Memphis is less likely to get out of it than any other city in the nation.

Dr. Juarez says the effects this stress can be reversed as a child grows by engaging them in social programs and educational activities like reading.


  • upaces88

    I want the person who wrote this article OR uploaded it to know. I will be back tomorrow.
    This will be a really good debate. Nature vs. Nurture.

  • John Snow

    But of course it has everything to do with it. A child learns by imitation, what he sees at home is how he thinks he should act. If he see daddy beating mother then he thinks it must be okay for all men to beat their women. Has very little to do with poverty, but everything to do with what the child witnesses at home – how conflict is resolved, how love is shown, etc.

  • Freedomwasawesome

    Great:( More of the I was born this way I can’t help it

    How much more of this can we take? Next it will be pedophiles, rapest and murderers.

    Enough already! Take responsibility. It’s what you choose!

Comments are closed.